If you thought Justin Bieber already packed a saccharine pop sensibility and stable hairstyle into a small package, you probably haven’t seen Pocket Popstar, the younger brother of the fixie-loving Pocket Hipster.
Both offer song suggestions (from We Are Hunted and APIs from The Echo Nest, publisher of Evolver.fm) based on the music on your iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad. However, relations between the two “app-atars” (did we just coin a term – nope) have reputedly deteriorated due to irreconcilable taste differences.
Pocket Hipster’s animated characters offer lesser-known indie music while poking gentle fun at hipster music’s snarkier advocates.
On the other hand, Pocket Popstar‘s hand-drawn avatars (one of which, the aptly-named Corey Young, bears more than a passing resemblance to The Biebs) suggest mainstream pop for you to enjoy in between their hair flips and heartfelt tweets to loyal cartoon fans. Also co-hosting this pop music suggestion shindig is a sparkly teen diva who could probably talk at length about unicorns or cheerleading.
But both amusing “Pocket” apps and their cast of characters offer more than canned cartoon commentary; they also serve up data-driven music recommendations based on analysis of your track library.
Tapping either character makes them tweet — generally about the beautiful or inspirational nature of their fan base. In terms of the music, Pocket Popstar’s avatars are more than willing to share what they’ve been listening to lately and, when prompted, reach out to grab your smartphone to critique some of your music before recommending the latest, hottest pop songs from all over the net. The app lets you preview these suggestions with the option to buy or add it to favorites.
Pocket Popstar has deep ties to the hit parade, and while it does make light of the latest teen trends, it’s also a part of them, recommending tracks that top 40 fans will likely appreciate. It played us plenty of what we consider flavors-of-the-month from Rihanna, 50 Cent and Kid Cudi, but also gave a nod to the classics, with Kool and the Gang, James Brown, and Three Dog Night. Your mileage may vary as always.
Pocket Popstar is currently free on Apple’s iOS platform. If you’re an unabashed fan of pop music, you stand to learn about all sorts of stuff you might like based on the stuff you already do. It might also be good for a laugh even if (especially if?) pop’s not quite your scene.
Check out We Are Hunted’s video demonstration: